From today, July 12, to Saturday, July 15, the city of Salvador, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, will become an extension of the African continent.
The Brazilian city is hosting the 2nd Conference of Intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora (CIAD), which is going to gather intellectuals, representatives of society and decision makers to discuss issues of interest for Africa and the afro-descendants, like health, education, religion, trade, science and technology.
The conference, whose first edition took place in Dakar, in Senegal, in October 2004, ends at the end of the week with the Dialogue Forum Africa-Diaspora. People like the Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, and the president of the Committee of African Union, Alpha Oumar Konare, are expected at the event.
The Diaspora – according to the Palmares Foundation, the approximately 12 million Africans spread around the Americas through slave trafficking – is another topic in the conference.
Diaspora, a term originated from Greek, means in this context the dispersion of peoples due to persecution by intolerant dominating groups, according to the Brazilian Portuguese dictionary Aurélio.
According to the Cultural Foundation Palmares, part of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Brazil is the world’s second largest black nation, losing only to Nigeria. Data from the IBGE, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics show that there are close to 76 million Brazilians who are black or pardo (the official designation for mixed race). That’s 45% of Brazil’s population.